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Sun City, absentee voters receive defective ballots

HUNTLEY – Early voters in Sun City in Huntley were greeted with a head-scratching surprise when asked on the ballots to decide on two congressional races, despite living in only one district.

The 14th congressional voters in the large retirement community were supposed to only in the race between incumbent Randy Hultgren, R-Winfield, and Dennis Anderson, D-Gurnee. But they were also asked through an accidental ballot defect to decide on the 6th congressional race between incumbent Peter Roskam, R-Wheaton, and Leslie Coolidge, D-Barrington Hills.

Voters alerted the Kane County Clerk’s office to the defect earlier this week, and the issue was corrected, County Clerk John Cunningham said.

“They had the chance to vote for the candidate in their district, and every other person they voted for on their ballot is counted,” Cunningham said. “It only affects the one race in a small geographic area by a small number of people.”

One hundred twenty-three defective ballots in Sun City were cast. The voting machine, Cunningham said, is programmed to only register the 14th district race, if voters happened to vote both races. If voters skipped the 14th and voted for a 6th district candidate, that vote was not tallied, he said.

Cunningham said Sun City voters were notified beforehand of their voting districts through election cards.

The defect so far has been discovered in the Sun City precinct and on some absentee ballots. Election judges have been correcting the absentee ballots before sending them to voters, Cunningham said.

The clerk’s office has been busy dealing with multiple ballot designs since redistricting put Kane County into four congressional districts. For the past decade, it was in one district.

Dean Argiris, campaign manager for Anderson, said the campaign will meet with Cunningham today to review the partisan breakdown of the affected ballots. No one will know how many Sun City voters skipped the 14th race until Wednesday.

“We are not trying to politicize it,” Argiris said. “We want to make sure every voter feels that their voice has been heard.”

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